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Old November 7th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #1
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Location: Grants Pass, Oregon
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Portable Soft Light

I want to buy a soft light box kit , 500 watt...that can be broken down fairly quickly and is strong enough to be used about once a week...for interview purposes...Lowel? Photoflex?
Smith Victor? Your choice...

Thanks for input...

Ralph Bowman
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Old November 7th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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My associate and I use a Lowell. And it works great and just keep an extra bulb safe somewhere and you just always have a light when needed.


John Lorince
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Old November 8th, 2008, 01:13 AM   #3
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Lowel has the Rifa Light, but you'll gain more flexibility with a modular system. Check out the Video Pro banks by Chimera.

I've had one of their "small" sizes (it's good enough for a 1K open face or fresnel), and used it regularly for about 9 years. I keep it in its bag inside the light kit, but it's pretty much just as perfect as the day I bought it.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 05:47 AM   #4
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I have just about every softbox made today but the one that I use the most is the Lowel Rifa, I have six of them, 2/88, 2/66 and 2/55.

There are advantages and disadvantages with everything, there's no perfect light out there, but I'm working on it. The problem is that manufacturers have all the good intentions but are not out there grinding day and day out with lights and have no ideas of the problems we encounter every day or about the need to expedite our work and create better workflow. I feel however that the Rifa is the one that comes closer to what I need.

The Rifa is about the same size as those of other manufacturers but the light is built in, this means that you don't have to carry a separate light, meaning less weight and it occupies less space; this becomes even more important for air travel. The new Rifa eXchange modular system now allows the lamp module to be changed with a combination of fluorescent daylight balances bulbs making the Rifa a more versatile tool. Older Rifas can be easily retrofitted to the new eXchange system.

The drawback of the Rifa is that it's dedicated to its own light, you can't use other lights as you would with the Chimera or Photoflex, in my case the only time that I use Chimeras is for HMI lights.
NinoMedia Productions - EFPLighting.com Advanced Lighting and Gripping Workshops
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Old November 8th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #5
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I own and love my Rifa, not only because of the light it supplies but also because it is the quickest softbox I've ever set up. Fussing and fighting with speedrings and rods is a thing of the past. Is it versatile? Well, sort of. Does it do what I need it to? In spades.
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
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Old November 8th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #6
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The only thing I dislike about the Rifas is that you cannot easily scrim the light in the Rifa. I prefer an open faced light inside a small Chimera, mainly because I can get the extra amount of control of light ratios by using scrims. Oh yeah, and the Rifa egg crates are a huge ripoff, they are massively overpriced.

But if you want quick setup with a decent quality soft light, the Rifas aren't bad. If I flew more and had to take a softbox, the Rifa is just more practical than a bigger light, a speedring and a Chimera.

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Old November 8th, 2008, 01:43 PM   #7
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Riffa 44 soft box for me. It's portable and quick to set up and gives a nice soft light.
You can travel the world with this.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #8
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wescott also makes a large range of portable softboxes like chimeras, but 20-30% cheaper. very nicely built with one complaint, they don't have velcro latches to hold the rear flaps open when using a 1K. however, you can velcro two of the flaps to the heat vent flaps ok.

rifas are seriousouly overpriced for what you get, thats my opinion.

I also have a 24X36 softbox I got on ebay. while made of vinyl, rods are chintzy, it works fine with my pro light 250 once I modded the generic speed ring. infact is also came with a eggcrate, and 2 front face cutters - oval and square. truth is for what I paid for the ENTIRE setup, it was the cost of just the eggcrate from Wescott ! the fact its the same size as the wescott means I've used the accessories on both lights. so I think this was a pretty good deal. my plan is to convert it to a pair of large flo bulbs this winter by mounting 2 sockets into the speed ring.
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